Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Dec. 7, 2021

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Johnson, Nicholson connect three times in Mountain View’s win over Battle Ground

Nicholson catches five passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns in 30-3 victory

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

In the first quarter, it looked like Battle Ground was so focused on stopping Mountain View’s running game, the Tigers forgot to cover Aiden Nicholson.

In the second quarter, when the Tigers covered the sophomore receiver, it didn’t make any difference.
Nicholson caught five passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns in leading Mountain View to a 34-3 win over Battle Ground in a non-league game Friday at McKenzie Stadium.
“They were just playing close up, and I knew they couldn’t guard me,” Nicholson said. “I was just like ‘just throw me the ball.’ “
Quarterback Mitch Johnson did that in the first quarter when Nicholson break wide open over the middle for a 23-yard touchdown pass and a 6-3 lead.
In the second quarter, it was a bit different.
After consecutive penalties left Mountain View with a fourth-and-21 from the Tigers 22, Johnson scrambled around before firing the ball toward a well-covered Nicholson in the end zone.
“I’m known for just catching those types of balls,” Nicholson said. “So when he threw it, I just knew I had to make the play. … (the defender) was in front of me. I just grabbed it from over him.”

Key moments

After Battle Ground opened the game by holding onto the ball for more than nine minutes, thanks to a mishandled punt by the Thunder, Mountain View responded quickly with a seven-play, 65-yard drive to take a 6-3 lead as the first quarter ended.
After the Thunder fumbled the ball away inside the Battle Ground 10 on the opening possession of the second half, the Thunder responded with a five-play, 54-yard drive to take control on Johnson’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Nicholson, giving the Thunder a 20-3 lead with 5:30 in the third quarter.

Key players

Mountain View QB Mitch Johnson: Johnson completed 11 of 17 passes for 152 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 65 yards on 10 carries and another score.
Mountain View’s Jurell McDade: The senior had one of the Thunder’s four sacks and added a last-minute interception to thwart at late Battle Ground scoring attempt.

Up next

Mountain View (6-2) plays Evergreen on Thursday as the Thunder look to lock up the outright 3A Greater St. Helens League title. Mountain View and Kelso are already clinched the league’s two playoff berths.
B. Ground 0 0 0 0—3
Mt. View 6 7 7 14—34
First quarter
BG — Marcus Reinhardt 30 FG
MV — Aiden Nicholson 23 pass from Mitch Johnson (kick blocked)
Second quarter
MV — Nicholson 22 pass from Johnson (Warne kick)
Third quarter
MV — Nicholson 19 pass from Johnson (Warne kick)
Fourth quarter
MV — Jacob Martin 23 pass from Johnson (Warne kick)
MV — Johnson 1 run (Warne kick)
RUSHING — Battle Ground: Ryan Whitmore-Witt 10-20, Artem Bahnyuk 4-12, Leithan Reynolds-Weisenborn 8-25, Jacob Champine 1-9, Kameron Spencer 6-(-20), Angle Lopez 1-2, Saveily Trachenko 1-0. Mountain View: Johnson 10-65, Akili Kamau 10-46, CJ Hamblin 6-25, Walker Richardson 5-62, Valike Tamakloe 6-61, team 1-(-2).
PASSING — Battle Ground: Spencer 5-18-1-45, Munro Smith 4-6-1-54. Mountain View: Johnson 11-17-0-152.

RECEIVING — Battle Ground: Champine 1-8, Lopez 1-5, Bahnyuk 2-16, Michael Kennedy 1-16, Kyle Simmons 1-0, Cassius Davis 2-49, Matt Ferguson 1-5. Mountain View: Nicholson 5-100, Martin 3-31, Kyle CHen 2-19, Kamau 1-2.